The Strv m/42-57 was just revealed as the first Swedish tank to be added to WoT and with this news, I couldn’t help but write a short article on the matter. I have been working on a Swedish tree for three years now yet this came as a complete surprise to me. The Strv m/42-57 is one of those vehicles I have only briefly mentioned before in my strv 74 article, it’s a premium candidate I have never thought too much about. But there was something special about getting to see it for real in the game. I have also seen some confusion about this vehicle so I thought it would be a nice idea to give you a historical overview to try and clear some things up.
In the spring of 1954 the Swedish army was looking at options to upgrade their existing tanks. The adoption of the Centurion Mk.3 a year earlier had thrown a wrench into the plans of tank acquisition for the foreseeable future. This had caused a last minute cancellation of negotiations for the purchase and license production of 400 AMX 13 light tanks. With only 240 Centurion tanks available there was a need to come up with something to fill the gap until more could be purchased. There had already been attempts with re-arming earlier tanks, but these had been underpowered. With the Centurion now taking up the Strv m/42’s role it was decided to switch the re-arming efforts to the m/42 instead.
On the 15th of February 1954 army representatives met with engineer’s at Landsverk to discuss the possibility of rebuilding the Strv m/42. The army required that as much as possible of the original tank would be retained while the armament changed to a version of the Lvkan m/36-37 anti-aircraft gun, this while keeping a maximum weight of 24 tonnes. Some changes were, however, to be made such as reinforcement of the suspension and changes to the steering gear. On the 18th discussions continued this time with the different alternatives for up gunning as the main subject. Alternatives A.1. trough A.3. represented different turret configurations. There was also considerations for rebuilding the vehicles as TD’s in the same style as the Pvkv m/43, this was known as alternative B. These options were meant to be ready for production by 1957 and the rebuild program was thus called Strv m/42-57.
This was the conventional turret. This configuration would be able to keep the 15dg gun depression of the original turret while in theory at least keeping the same protection. This was the army’s preferred choice, and would eventually become the Strv 74.
This represented the “delat torn” (divided turret) concept developed and trialled in the mid to late 40’s by Sweden. Essentially the turret would be split into two halves with a mechanically loaded gun in the middle. This was considered to be the worst alternative.
The alt A.2. represented the option of mounting an AMX type turret on the Strv m/42. This oscillating design would allow for a lighter turret with better stabilisation. It’s main drawback compared to the conventional design was the worse frontal protection, and a drastic reduction in gun depression compared to the original turret. Ultimately concerns about the cost of having to change turret ring diameter meant that this alternative was not chosen.
While I’m excited to see the first Swedish tank getting added to the game it is clear that there are problems with the vehicle. Though I want to state that all hard stats (armor, penetration, horsepower) are correct as far as I can tell. The model quality is also very good.
Currently, there are some major problems with the Strv m/42-57. Going by the hard stats alone it’s a underwhelming vehicle. The low mobility and lack of armor mean that the firepower must really compensate for these flaws, however, currently, this is simply not the case. The gun has mostly decent stats but what really lets it down is a laughably bad damage output of only 1300 DPM. This is 700! less damage per minute compared to the Cromwell. Something also needs to be said for the small magazine size of the autoloader and long reload time between shells, which means this vehicle does not even get a significant burst damage advantage either.
Keep in mind that these early supertest stats are subject to change. But I wanted to draw attention to them anyway since they really need to be addressed. In any case, I do hope WG takes their time to work out these issues, and I do hope you enjoyed reading. If you did there is plenty more to come. In fact, there is another article already on its way which will cover the Swedish light/medium line.